Technology is changing our life as never before. With Digital Transformation, we are noticeably heading a new age of perpetual disruption. Some see it as the fourth industrial revolution.

The vast majority of companies and organizations are unsure how to cope with the challenges of Digital Transformation and how to renew their business models. This article gives you some advice and shows you how to kick-off and get familiar with this topic. In addition, it outlines how to reflect your challenges, opportunities and threats without running the risk of losing big budgets.

Traditionally, and particularly in large companies, new initiatives start with a detailed preliminary study. Then, after months, the results are presented to the management followed by budget discussions and finally - if any commitment can be won - a project can be run. Of course, that is not an appropriate way to address a topic that is influenced by new technologies and trends every single day. And, always keep in mind that customers’ behavior is as fast changing as the topic of Digital Transformation itself. If you want to succeed at the end of the day, you have to be customer-centric, fast and agile. Think about Nokia’s mobile phone business. Nokia made great cell phones in the past, but they forgot to think about new technologies, trends and the changing customer behavior. To kick-off Digital Transformation, you need quick results.

Based on my experience, it makes sense to start lean and think big. One way to tackle the topic is to setup two to three Digital Transformation workshops with an interdisciplinary team. In and around these workshops you discuss the status quo, the possibilities, quick wins, benchmarks and possible new business models. An appropriate and lean approach to kick-off Digital Transformation could contain the following steps:

  1. Understand and focus: Listen to your most important stakeholders, understand the challenges, collect ideas and focus on the “hot spots”

  2. Identify a viable Digital case: Sketch new IT-driven business solutions and models and identify a case for an appropriate prototype

  3. Prototype and get feedback: Develop a first prototype for your customers and try to get feedback early and often

  4. Start further Digital evolution: Create a next steps proposal, design and kick-off your “Digital roadmap”

This should not take longer than a few weeks. Typically, when you have finished these initial steps, you will have a clear understanding of the challenges, opportunities and threats and you will know how to proceed.

For example, Acrea supports a large insurance company to get started with Digital Transformation. At the beginning, the company was unsure how to kick-off, but they were well aware that new or more agile competitors with new business models will emerge. Within weeks, our innovation miners identified the business goals, understood the pain points of the insurer’s customers, found out about the technical opportunities, the impact on the existing business processes and created a first Digital Transformation roadmap.

So, do not waste your time on lengthy preliminary studies, but rather start lean and think big - Acrea will be happy to support you. For a fixed price we will pre-heat your project and come back with useful results in just a few days. If you like what you see, you can then decide on the next steps and how you would like to work with us in the future. Hence, let’s start “making digital work” now.